Lazarette Modifications, Part 10: Initial Painting

The lazarette, painted and ready for the installation of the battery box shelf
The time had finally come for me to paint the lazarette of Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25. It had taken me a lot of work to get to this point, but my work would not end with this job. I would not be able to paint all of the lazarette at this time, because I still needed to install the battery bank shelf, and this installation had to await the completion, or I should say the near completion, of yet another lengthy project - the rewiring of the boat. By this point in the refitting of Oystercatcher, I had grown accustomed to such delays, and accordingly I had grown accustomed to leaving one project unfinished in order to work on some other project that was blocking my progress on the first one. I had to be satisfied with partially complete work, and at this time I had to be satisfied with a partial paint job of the lazarette.
I began by thoroughly scrubbing the hull with TSP (trisodium phosphate). This would remove the dirt and grime that had accumulated in this space in the almost 40 years since this boat's manufacture in 1975.
In the picture below, we see the lazarette after I had scrubbed it with TSP. Doesn't look very clean, does it? Well, I can assure you that it was much cleaner than it had been before I started. I used several buckets of warm water during the TSP scrubbing process. The water in each bucket would be filthy by the time I finished. To remove the TSP residue, I used several buckets of warm water (minus the TSP) as a rinse. Then I wiped down the hull with xylene to remove any residual impurities or wax that might prevent the paint from bonding well to the hull.
The fact that this space was super clean, yet still dark and dingy looking was proof enough that cleaning alone was not sufficient to transform this space. What it really needed was some white paint.
The white paint would make it much easier to see in the lazarette. Back before I ever started this project the lazarette could best be compared to a dark and inaccessible cavern.
The paint that I would use for this project was the same that I had used earlier for the shelves - Pitthane.
I would use a roller to apply most of this two-part polyurethane in the lazarette. A long handled Purdy brand brush, however, would prove very useful in the tight spaces - those spaces close to the overhead, where the roller just wouldn't fit.
Below we see the lazarette after I had completed the first coat. I did not paint it all at one time. Instead I broke it into separate, manageable sections.
I started on the port side and worked from the aft end forward. Ignore the white in the bilge (far left). This was the last area that I painted. I saved it for last, because I had to position my body in this space while painting the aft end of the port side.
The forward end of the port side was easy to paint. It was not at all difficult to reach into this space while sitting in the open area of the bilge where the battery bank shelf would eventually be. I should note that the blue tape that you see pictured on the bulkhead is there to protect the studs. Not long after the painting I would begin the electrical work, and I would mount the backplane for the DC main circuit on these studs.
This should help you understand why I did not want to install the battery box shelf in the bilge at this time. For one thing, it would have made it much more difficult for me to paint the aft end of the lazarette. More importantly, it would have made it much more difficult for me to do the electrical work in the lazarette. I would later spend many an hour sitting in that large, unpainted area of the lazarette, pulling wires, crimping terminals, and screwing things into place.
Next I focused on the starboard side, and again I worked from the aft end forward. I chose not to paint the overhead of the lazarette. Most of it was clean, undisturbed fiberglass. When cleaning the lazarette, prior to the painting, I simply wiped the overhead with xylene to remove dust and residue.
The paint made the shelf look like it had always been there.
The next day it was time for the second coat.
I've said this before, but it's worth saying it again. I learned the hard way when I first started working with Pitthane (on a separate project from the lazarette), that it's not worth it trying to reuse the plastic mixing pots or roller trays with this two-part paint. Even when using the proprietary solvent/thinner (which is not cheap), it's hard to remove the paint from these plastic containers. It's easier and cheaper (since you're not wasting the solvent) to use new plastic containers each time.
When painting the second coat, I also took the time to paint the space underneath the port and starboard shelves.
I also did a little brush work through the hatch hole in the cockpit locker. Coming at the shelf from above enabled me to hit a few spots that I had missed when using the roller down below.
At this time I also painted the side of the icebox on the forward end of the bulkhead on the starboard side.
Additionally, I painted the water tank cleats just above the bilge.
The lazarette was starting to look a lot better. It was much brighter and much easier to see in this space. Now I could begin the rewiring of the boat, and after I had completed almost all of this lengthy task I could return to my work on this space.

This ends this posting on how I did the initial painting for the lazarette of Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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